tv MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi MSNBC March 25, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
we'll get back into this on another day, i'm sure, i'm running out of time rapidly and ali velshi is back, giving me the side eye. >> i have put my head back together because at 1:00 i was on tv and this michael avenatti stuff broke and it is that moment where it is like this little hard drive is was overloaded. >> my producer said go home, news, you're drunk. >> you're out tonight? >> no, chuck todd will be anchoring "meet the press daily" tonight, but i will be in for him for the rest of the week. >> we're getting a better picture this hour about michael avenatti. he was arrested this afternoon he was hit with felony charges tied to two separate federal
investigations. prosecutors in california say he embezzled his own client's money to pay his expenses and debts and used phoney tax returns to obtain millions in loans. they laid out the case this hour. >> mr. avenatti describes himself as attorney, advocate, fighter for good. but the allegations in this case describe something different. a corrupt lawyer that fights for his own selfish interests by misappropriate uaing close to $ million that belonged to one of his clients. and the attorney's office for the southern district of new york says that avenatti threatened to use his ability to garner publicity to cause harm to nike in an attempt to extort
$20 million from the company. 14 minutes before he was arrested he tweeted tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. et we will hold a press conference to disclose a major high school basketball scandal perpetrated by nike that we have uncovered. it reaches the highest levels of nike and involves some of the biggest names in basketball. here is what new york prosecutors said about this case. >> the charges are based on the chemoto extract more than 20 million in payments from a public company. a suit and tie does not mask the fact that at it's core, this was an old fashioned shake down. >> joining me now is tom winter which is outside of manhattan
courthouse where avenatti is making his initial appearance today. cynthia worked with robert mueller in the u.s. attorney's office in dc. tom, let's start with you, what is happening? >> so basically here today as you detailed the two different cases that michael avenatti facing, he was arrested shortly after 12:30 today. detailing how quickly this case came together in the last six days. essentially what they say is michael avenatti went to nike, they said they had a coach whose program was dropped by nike who was willing to say that nike was involved with paying the program and paying top play ners college basketball. now adidas has been wrapped up in that inspection, and they have successfully processed a
law scheme. they went to the firm and he said if youd don't give me over $20 million to become engaged in an internal investigation with another attorney, i will go public with these allegations and you may not die as a company, but i'm going to cut and cut and reduce your market value essentially threatening nike that if they didn't pay he would go public with this and really damage them, so she expected in court, we're told, in the next hour or hour in a half or so. he will face charges here and he will make his way to laelgs. it is a stunning fall, and the question came up, it came up i'm seeing in online posts about whether or not this office and the u.s. attorney here who was appointed by president donald trump, whether or not this was some sort of retaliation for
michael avenatti for his representation of stormy daniels, and prosecutors making clear here this case -- the victim, in this case being nike. the office antefbi field office here was particularly care tofl have numerous controlled telephone conversations. the fbi was listening to those and they have throughout the criminal complain quotes from michael avenatti where they see his scheme to shake down nike if is believed to be the first time that he has been in the chours since the sentencing before. >> cynthia, can you outline for us nonlawyers the difference between a lawyer who represents
someone or thinks they have a case going into a company says you need to settle with us or it will be bad for you were versus you need to give me money or i will wreck or weapreputation. >> the united states attorney said that he didn't even have a giant. the way he spoke at the press problem for instance te is is that avenatti did aren't have a client, they made it up to get the money and add to this the charges in l.a. when the first paragraph reads i'm a special agency with the irs in allegation ahave been employed there since 1995. apparently he was taking money and spending it out of trust accounts in addition do making up phoney tax returns and giving
it to banks and sending some of that over the wires. he has mayor major league proble problems. >> if this was a script no one would accept the script. >> stormy daniels issues a statement saying knowing what i know about michael avenatti i'm saddened but not shocked by news reports that he has been criminally charged today. i made the decision more than a month ago to terminate michael's services after discovering that he dealt with me extremely carelessly. tom winter, nbc news investigations is at the courthouse, cynthia, stick around i need to talk to you about other matters. on to the major story in washington, a false narrative
that is how the president has been characterizing his ties with russia today. william barr submitted a four page summary of the robert mueller 22 month investigation and the president is changing his tune on how he feels about mueller. >> mr. president -- >> up to the attorney general, wouldn't bother me at all. wouldn't bother me at all. >> what is stirring up washington right now, a senior aide tells nbc news that the chairman of the house judiciary committee is already in contact to set a date for the attorney general to testify on the report. members on the committee will discuss their next steps following the attorney general's
conclusion. the attorney general's summary has emboldened all parties in washington. now they are demanding an apology claiming that the president was completely exonerated, not true. barr's summary quotes just parts of mueller's report and some of them are only half seasontences. sdient mu sdi despite mueller finding that russia did interfere, the investigation did not establish that members of the trump -- on the issue of obstruction, he quote it's again saying it has been left unresolved whether or not the president's actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction, but rod rosenstein and i have concluded that the evidence is not sufficient to
evidence that he obstructed justice because the underlying crime of conspiracy was not proven president the president and his lawyers are calling this exoneration but they continue to overlook this important point in the summary. the special council states that while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him. that is written in bill barr's summary. let's go to hans nichols. this afternoon the president met with prime minister benjamin netanyahu, then he took a moment to talk about the findings from william barr's summary, what's your take away? >> he may not be done talking today, he just summoned the pool here, we hear hear from the
president here shortly. he is meeting with the local hockey team. here is the big take away. he spent months trying to direct and hint and telegraph what direction he want this is to go. now that the mueller report is out he is taking a hands off approach. the president is saying it is up to the attorney general. he was asked today whether or not he felt he behalfed honorably and he said yes, and when you listen to the president closely, and he talks about what is important to him, he is terroristing from defending himself to the office of the presidency and they may exert executive privilege. >> i love this country as much
as i can love anything. my family, my country, my god. but what they did, it was a false narrative, it was a terrible thing. we can never let this happen to another president again. i can tell you that, i say it very strongly. very few people they know could have handled it, we can never let this happen to another president again. >> ali that was clearly the president looking to have an argument on depending the presidency, the overall office, and that's the hint i think he gave us there. there could be an indication they will be more assertive about claiming executive privilege. >> now with the trump administration and the victory laps, let's look at the actual results of the actual investigation. paul manafort was con vikted on
eight counts, and he plead guilty to eight other charges. he was sentenced to 7.35 ye5 yen mortgage fraud and more. rick gates, served in the campaign and admitted to committing crimes with paul manafort. she yet to be sentenced. they say she continuing to cooperate. alex van der zwaan. he plead guilty to making a false statement. and then there is george papadopoulos. the biggest get from the trump orbit is michael flynn that pleaded guilty to lying to his contacts with russia's then
ambassador and she expected to be sentenced later this year. then there is roger stone whose early political career involved paul manafort. they made false statements and witness stampering among other charges. they were swept up in the department of justice investigation. it is believe thad this guy might have done this without realizing who his clients were, however he pleaded guilty. and then there are the more than two dozen russian entities and individuals including hackers and intelligence officers. they were all backed fwi the u.s. department of justice. joining me now matt miller, clint watts a former fbi special
agent and national security analyst and author of "messing with the enmy, surviving in a world of fake news." and back with me cynthia oxney. cynthia,ly start with the same question i asked you a few minutes ago. for a nonlawyer, i'm hearing a lot of trump defenders saying there could not have been obstruction of justice because the urn lying crime had not been proved. that strikes me as not true. you can have obstruction of justice regardless of the under lying crime. >> that's right you can. and you can say that because the attorney general of the united states wrote that in the four-page memo, essentially. it happens to be wrong. witness martha stewart. the attorney general always had
a strange view about obstruction of justice and dwlast he is the last person that should have weighed in at the end. robert mueller designed this report so that congress would see both sides of the obstruction question and he basically punt it'd to them to make the decision because he was incapable of nations the decision because of the department of justice rules. my expectation is he thought they would make the final decision and instead barr took from them and he made a decision which i disagree with and i think many legal exerts do. will we get the information in the mueller report so congress can do their job? >> he is premature, a report that the rest of us have not seen, it went through a filter
of an attorney general that wrote a 19 page document of why a president should not be indicted or investigated, and on at least one little part he is incorrect and we don't have the rest of the indictment to parse ourselves. >> it matters because if the president leaves office and another wanted to take a different interruptatipretation say there is no basis to bring charges, but politically he is giving the president treatment amount to win. bob mueller did not clear the president on obstruction of justice. the only quote that we have seen about ob instruction of justice is this memo saying this report does not exonerate him. i think cynthia is right. he says because mueller didn't make a conclusion, that leaves it to the attorney general, i
doubt very seriously that's what his special intent was. and the way you can tell that he was not leaving it to the attorney general is that barr did not write that in his memo. he did make it today, but in the background leaking, he knew for the last three weeks that the special council would not draw a conclusion, it wasn't just a decision in the last 48 hours, they have not said anything act leading to that decision with bill bar. >> clint watts, the thing that the president has not taken some time to talk about is wow, this really serious finding that we outlined a few moments ago about the degree to which the russians were attempting to interfere. the president is con pseudoed by the collusion or no collusion that is going on that there is an under lying concern that has
not been addressed. whether or not the president and his team new they were being manipulating them. it wasn't until he fired comby that i was concerned. why lie about these things. the real issue here is which is worse, that he is working with russia or that he is unaware that russia did this and they were trying to influence the campaign. if we look at it from this perspective, just talking about trump tower moscow, they knew about this they had the ability to leak this.
it is how they designed this in the beginning. it is to put their tentacles in the campaign, throwing it from affair, to push narratives, he says russia if you have the e-mails, launch cyber attacks right after that, that is really the serious issue that this is all predicated on in the beginning, so what do duo about that? does the president acknowledge that and how do we push back against it because we're going into another election year. if i was russia right now what would do i? i would couldn't to support him overtly. he got on the stage and said i believe you, vladimir putin, and -- >> and none of that has changed. here is how we're going to make sure it is coming out.
>> cynthia, in bill barr's summary. he says they view difficult rules of law and fact. could his actions be viewed as obstruction, for those saying no obstruction, they say it leaves unresolved the issues concerning kwlornd the president's issues and content could be viewed as obstruction. the only solution here is to hear from robert mueller or see the report. >> absolutely we have to know a lot of things from mueller, for example, barr's summary of what we saw in the report is increate, and because it leave out important things on the collusion of the conspiracy with the russians issue? was the president compromised in any way? there is no discussion of that.
they were saying a few weeks ago that the exchange was at the core of the inquery and that's the core. what about his what mueller thinks is important for the obstruction section of the letter, it makes clear there are some -- most of the things in the public record, there are things they found out about ob instruction that we don't even know about yet. and the only way is to see the full report and discuss with bob mueller about what his thoughts and conclusions were. he needs to testify. i think most of america will be satisfied until they hear from mueller as opposed to barr. >> matt miller, stormer spokes
person, former fbi agent. and a short term boost for prime minister netanyahu, but we're looking at the anymore apply indications after the break. and apple wants to transform the way you watch tv, how their streams service stacks up. r streams service stacks up. ♪ - [woman] with shark's duo clean, i don't just clean, i deep clean carpets and floors, so i got this. yep, this too, and this, please. even long hair and pet hair are no problem, but the one thing i won't have to clean is this because the shark's self-cleaning brush roll removes the hair wrap while i clean. ♪
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president trump with prime minister netanyahu by his side, he praised their relationship again. >> israel is an inspiration, a trusted ally, and a cherished friend, the united states will always stand by it's side. today i'm talking historic action to promote israel's ability to defend itself and really to have a powerful and strong national security. ly sign a presidential pr
proclimation. >> that will be a big boost to netanyahu's election. the prime minister cut his trip short today. there was a attack in the gaza strip that killed seven people. netanyahu is expected to win this election, but it is sight. he is facing indictment in his own country, and the moves that the united states has taken in recent days including the anext sags -- annexation of the golan heights, it certainly bolsters netanyahu. >> if you look at the internal politics in israel, these are things that candidates run on saying i have the best
relationship with the u.s., it is a security run country, so to speak, security is a big issue in those elections, when you're running with those two tickets in your pockets, those two issues, and you get the support of americans on those issues, you can say look, i'm doing this, but keep in mind the person running giagainst him is hawkish himself. he is considered to be a centrist, and it gives you a sense of how much israel shifted to the right. >> this is the most right win government in israeli history. >> yeah, and if elected, they have partnered up with the political off springs if you will of a once recognized terrorist organization. they're part of a government if they win reelection. so those are important. when you president trump, she doing everything possible to try to get the prime minister
reelected. >> let me put up a map here, there is something important to understand here, these red territories are thought by the international community to be occupied territorieterritories, basic law that's you can't settle them, you can't move your population in, israel has done sew in all three cases. they have done so in all three cases and they have been doing so. the united states officially shares international community view that's this is occupied territory. why is the administration deciding to longer. >> even on his way out of office, president trump had done so much, he did not veto a u.n. security council, and it was an established territory as being occupied territories, this president decided to depart from that interms of the internal
reporting that comes out every year, but also a matter of policy, you have the israeli ambassador, and he doesn't consider it to be occupied territory. he uses the language that israelis use -- >> and that is a league distinction. >> yeah, they say we should argue over there because we have this occupied, but no country in the world recognizes that, but saw it today with israel's declaration. they do not recognize that and that is very important. >> and while we're speaking we have breaking news, a rocket has been fired from the gaza strip into their territory. this is not the first time in the last week we have seen this.
the trip is elected by hamas, they don't have any relationship and they are for all intents and purposes at war with each other. >> yeah, and it's true they control the governing aspect inside of the gaza strip, but around it, the borders, the water website is controlled by israel. it's not to say they have a normal international border, they have all kinds of domestic problems, they're cracking down recently, but here is the interesting thing, they have been under siege since about 2006. >> yeah, not beyond more than three nautical miles, but the point they was going to try to make and we talk about it a lot in the context of u.s. foreign policy, you have somewhere like
gaza, they impose a blockade and they did fire into israel, they went to the southern part of israel after nearly 13 years of this blockade, you to say is this ho policy working? because they're rockets are reaching further and further, so at some point the rocket, gaza is the size of an american city, it is not a mall area, and the rockets reaching further into israel now. by the point also is that is this work something we talk about their policy in investigation, is that working in this is clearly not working but all of the is israeli politicians talk about
-- escalating the violence, it is a humanitarian catastrophe. >> thank you. while president trump says he is vindicates, democrats are fighting for the mueller report to be released but what to voters want? according to a wall street journal poll 66% of americans was the mueller report to be released. but people say whether or not it is a witch hunt, 50% say yes, 47% say no, and the same found a political on partisan lines. 86% said it was a witch hunt, only 14% of democrats said the
same. vaughn hilliard is live in new orleans, vaughn? >> good afternoon, ali. we have been here through louisiana inside of a paric that went by a 50% martin here. i want to know when we were imposing this question, do you believe that the president is vindicated to these folks, i want to introduce you to two individuals, cathy campo who is a republican that did not vote for donald trump or hillary clinton in 2016, and john. >> it is good to have the investigation. >> do you think he has been vindicated. i know people will say it's cover up. it's human nature. the ones that wanted it and got
it are not satisfied with the results. those that didn't want it are satisfied with the results. >> i'm glad it is as at an end. i wish it would stop, it is what it is, that it would be accepted no matter what you think and let's move on to more important things. >> why? >> more important things, i think a lot of people are concerned the economy. i think they're concerned about education. i think that a lot of peoplish that those who are are in congress would consider us. learn to get along, take somewhat of a middle of the road conciliato conciliatory attitude and really represent us. folks like me think that there should definite i will be term
limits, and that you're out after awhile, it's not your god given right to stay in congress for -- >> you want to the report to public? >> of course. >> why is that? >> i think is important to have a level of transparency so question understand what is going on, what has gone on, what took place in the investigations, if any, there is nothing to hide why not have it be transparent? >>. >> ali what we heard from republicans that you just heard from democrats as well, they want the report to be public, they don't want any questions surrounding the president going forward in the next few years. they want the president to focus on the agenda of the republican congress, the white house, and the democratic side, they want the opportunity to fully
investigate beyond what the prerogative of the special council informs this case. >> thank you for your reporting. vaughn in nuew orleans for us. democrats want to hear for from william barr, he is expect expected to hear before a house appropriations sub committee, but that is about the justice department's budget, however they want to take the opportunity to question him about his decision that there is not enough evidence for obstruction of justice charges. he sent a letter last year to congress talking about the investigation. >> i memo was narrow about a specific obstruction of justice
theory. the memo did not address or in any other way question the special counsel's core investigation into russian efforts to interfere in the election, nor did it address other potential obstruction of justice theories or argue that some have wrongly suggested that a president can never obstruct justice. >> joins us now to talk about this, charlie savage who wrote about the issue this past weekend. he is perhaps more importantly to this kergconversation, the ar of "power wars," because the president's response other than the incorrect sthamt this pros no collusion is that we must every let this happen to another president. he has been on about the fact that this was -- he called mule aeroguy out of the blue, doing
this investigation out of nowhere, and that no other president would have been able to withstand this as well as he does and the outcome here is that she anyone and no one else should be investigated. >> he is certainly taking a victory lap. he is saying let's look back and go after the people that sicked muller on me in the first place. he wants to keep fighting over the origins of this investigation and take the notion that mueller found the evidence was not sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt anyone in his campaign having an actual agreement with the russian government and thank you , your honor into total exoneration of all of these strags contacts and looking past that mueller also found that it was indead true that the russian government tried to manipulate the government to get him elected with the time of those
that hacked the contract e-mails and the media manipulation operation. >> let's talk about that memo that we talked about this the so unsolicited memo. as i understand it, his theory is premised on a novel and legally insupportable reading of the law, moreover it created by the document of justice, it would go far beyond the confines of this case and would do lasting damage to the president aand the administration of law this is your area of expertise. it is interesting to some people that the guy that wrote the summary of the report that none of us have seen comes tat from this perspective, that it is flawed in it's initiation. >> so that, as a reminder to your viewer website he twroet as
a private lawyer six or seven months before he was appointed to be state's attorney general, and one of the most interesting things is that mueller did not reach a conclusion about whether or not trump had obstructioned justice. he apparently cataloged a lot of things, and argues for and against why it might violate obstruction of justice laws, and then mueller, barr comes in and says i'm going to make the decision, it is not obstruction, and having written the memo before that raised a lot of question about obstruction for democrats. >> the author of a book that i think is really important that people read, it is called "power wars." i suspect this issue will be with us for some time now. let's go back to tom winter in new york. tom this story gets crazier and
crazier, what do you have now? >> well, ali, multiple people telling myself and my colleague, multiple people familiar with this case setelling us the unidentified person is mark geragos involved in this scheme to extort nike for $20 million, he represented scott peterson, colin kaepernick. she not named, it is only alleged that he was involved. we except avenatti to appear before a judge in the next 20 or 30 minutes and we'll get more details perhaps then as far as
how that class proceed. one other thing that i want today mention is that this investigation is ongoing into the allegations that he first brought to nike, that it may be possible that players were paid money out of aau programs to perhaps go to certain universities or schools, that will be looked at here, it could be a two for one investigation here. the u.s. attorney's office here already prosecuting several people involved in the college basketball scheme that first came to light a few years ago, ali. >> thank you for your continued reporting on this. tom winter for us at court in new york city. coming up you may never watch tv the same way again, that's is what apple is hoping. ♪ baby i'm not even in a gown
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launch a streaming service that will compete with netflix, amazon, and cable tv. apple is also expanding their apple news and apple pay services. apple pay will now include a new credit card capable of being used on mass transit and other places. they are starting a new game subscription service called apple arcade. joining us now is jacob ward who attended the announcement at oople headquarters. >> it is really an amazing assortment. it is a news service that will bring you 300 or more magazines for a $10 subscription price all of the way through to a very star studded announcement of an apple channel system where you
can choose channels ala carte, and a premium tier service where for a subscription for which you can get all this? what's the thing we should be thinking about that's transformational for april until. >> if you look at any one of these things, you would be tempted to evaluate them as a standalone business. a credit card can that charges no fees and does not raise your interest rate if you're late paying it back, you think that's suicide, terrible idea. but when you're a company with $245 billion in cash, you can throw this stuff away. can you make it a ploy basically to bring people in. it is marketing essentially. the fact they spent a rumored $2 billion on creating all of this original content, you might think they will never compete
with netflix, but that's not the point. they're trying to get you in their ecosystem. you will be paying your subway fair with them, watch pg ing tv reading magazines and along with 1.8 billion people, carrying the iphones around. it's this walled garden they want you to live in. >> jacob ward, thank you very much. our technology correspondent. coming up -- u.s.-backed forces declare victory over isis in syria, claiming the last bit of land controlled by the taliban. guys do whatever it takes to deal with shave irritation. so, we re-imagined the razor with the new gillette skinguard. it has a unique guard between the blades. that's designed to reduce irritation during the shave. because we believe all men deserve a razor just for them.
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come with a goal. leave with a plan. td ameritrade. ♪ all right, mixed result u.s. on the markets today. dow closing just above ground and s&p and nasdaq are down. typically the mueller news would have been good for markets. they don't like uncertainty. but the problem is the inverted yield curve is spooking people into thinking there might be an economic slowdown. here we go, before we close, all of the margarets have now tur - turned into the red. a rocket has been fired in israeli territory. this is a continuation of activities taking place over the last week. it's caused israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu to cancel his speech at apec in washington and return to israel.
we will get more information on that and continue to cover it for you. over the weekend u.s.-backed syrian fighters declared victory over isis, announcing the terrorist group no longer occupies any land in syria. but as "the new york times" reports, the fight against the islamic state is far from over. joining me now is nbc news contributor and foreign kpantant who was in israel last month. in your piece you quote charlie winter, a senior research fellow for the international center for the study of radicalization of kings college who said in the weeks since president trump claimed victory over the islamic state in december, the militants claimed at least 182 attacks in syria. he adds there's a tendency to run into declarations of investigatory too fast and too early with jihadist groups. and then in another interactive piece you authored, you talked about since last summer the group carried out at least 250 attacks outside of his control territories in syria. and since 2017, isis and its
followers carried out attacks in at least 25 countries. from what i read, good news, their territorial leadership has been taken away from him. but it's still an active, dangerous group. >> it is. i think people what have done is eliminated the caliphate this saturday with the strength of the group. this is not what the group is only. this is a group that's always been a resurgent entity. it held land for more than a decade in iraq before it became an islamic state. since then it became a formidable force. the lapd has bend has been taket it still remains a threat, both in iraq and syria and outside of iraq and syria. >> it was occupying the size of central park and getting smaller and there were a lot of women in there, some of them wives. you were mentioning the wives coming out as it was being taken seemed to be -- they were throwing things at reporters,
they were talking about how isis was going to sustain? >> sure, i left syria after being there three weeks trying to cover the fall of what was the size of central park. i waited three weeks for that tiny piece of land to fall, which tells you how fiercely isis was fighting for it. in the time since february around 30,000 women and children, almost all of this isis family members, women and children, came out of that area. that gives you a sense of how big their family members were. in the last couple of weeks, the women we saw coming out were incredibly defiant. they are chanting an isis slogan that means we are remaining here. they were throwing fistfuls of dirt at reporters and mineral bottles of water, bottles given to them by humanitarian workers who were there trying to help them. they remain at least in what we saw, they remained defiant, they remained committed to this ideology and there's a lot of them. >> while we should celebrate the fact they do not have land, we
mubs cautio must be cautious about the fact they continue to exist and their organization. thank you, our msnbc contributor and "the new york times" foreign correspondent. i want to put the map back up so i can show you something. this shows you that in 2015 that pinkish area is the area that isis controlled, and in january of 2018 it had become those deep, red areas. of course, what happened is by january of 2019 it was just a piece of lapd about the size of central park, and that fight went on until urge friday evening when the world was con assumed with other news, and that was finally taken from them. that wraps up this hour for me. see you back here tomorrow at 1:00 and then again 3:00 p.m. eastern. you can find me on social media, twitter, instagram, facebook, linked-in. thank you for watching. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace starts right now. is
hi, everyone, it's 4:00 in washington, d.c. where the nation's capital is still digesting the summary of the mueller report, drafted and released by attorney general bill barr. no one outside of the justice department or the special counsel's team has seen mueller's report, so we're relying on the barr summary for all of our information at this point. and here's what we know. on the question of conspireing with the russians to interfere in the 2016 election, the investigation did not establish that members of the trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the russian government in its election interference activity. but on the question of obstruction of justice, the second pillar of the nearly 22-month-long mueller probe, the picture is far less clear and far more ominous for the president, with more questions today than answers. notably, robert mueller did not exonerate donald trump,